Qualify for the 2015 AQHA Level 1 Championships

Find out if you are eligible to compete at the 2015 AQHA Level 1 championships, plus see the divisions added this year.

The American Quarter Horse Association

American Quarter Horse exhibitors still have plenty of time to qualify for the 2015 AQHA Level 1 Championships (Journal photo).

American Quarter Horse exhibitors still have plenty of time to qualify for the 2015 AQHA Level 1 Championships.

The SmartPak AQHA West Level 1 Championships in Las Vegas is tentatively scheduled for September 30 - October 4. The Nutrena East Level 1 Championships in Lexington, Virginia, is tentatively slated for September 30 - October 4.

Due to the increase of Level 1 exhibitors, more divisions will be offered at the 2015 Level 1 Championships. The following divisions will be offered in 2015:

  • Amateur
  • Select
  • 14-18
  • 13-&-under
  • Rookie youth 
  • Rookie amateur

Jackpots will again be offered this year at the Level 1 Championships.

“We are excited to offer our Level 1 exhibitors a chance to win cash again this year,” said Pete Kyle, AQHA executive director of show and judges. “We hope that the low cost to enter the jackpot and the number of payout placings will encourage exhibitors to participate in this great opportunity for prize money.”

The qualifying period for the 2015 Level 1 Championships is July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015. To earn an invitation to the 2015 Nutrena East or SmartPak West AQHA Level 1 Championships, the exhibitor must qualify in one of four ways.

  1. Show at 20 shows in a Level 1 class; if a show does not offer the Level 1 class, contact the show manager or show secretary to add the class. Shows will be counted by show numbers on a one-horse, one-rider basis; for questions about how many show numbers a show will count for, competitors should ask the presiding show manager or secretary. As Level 1 halter classes are not common, Level 1-eligible halter exhibitors may compete in the corresponding youth or amateur halter class to count for their 20 shows. Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 to verify the number of Level 1 classes you have competed in during the qualifying period. –or–
  2. Place in the top 10 in a Level 1 class at a Merial AQHA regional championship show; a top-10 placing qualifies the rider on that horse only. If your regional championship does not offer the Level 1 class you are interested in, contact the show manager or show secretary to add the class. Again, since Level 1 halter classes are not common, a top-10 finish in the corresponding youth or amateur halter class at a regional championship will count for Level 1-eligible halter exhibitors. If your region is not hosting a regional championship, you may participate in a region that is offering one. For information on participating in another region, visit www.aqha.com/regionalchampionships to see the regions that are hosting a 2015 regional championship. Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or log-in to the AQHA Member Services area and order a performance record on the horse you placed with to verify your top-10 placing. –or–
  3. Qualify through the exhibitor’s state/provincial affiliate. If the exhibitor’s affiliate does not have a qualifying method listed, the exhibitor must nationally qualify or qualify through another affiliate. To qualify through another affiliate, the exhibitor must be a member in good standing with the other affiliate (other than the state/province you reside in) and be selected by that affiliate as a qualifier. Find your affiliate's qualifying method, then contact your affiliate to see where you stand in its list of qualifiers.
  4. Enter Rookie classes if eligible. To enter a Rookie class, the exhibitor only needs to be eligible for that Rookie class as of January 1; there is no qualifying method for Rookie classes. Keep in mind the horse that you intend to bring for the class must also be Rookie eligible. Call AQHA Customer Service at 806-376-4811 or visit www.aqha.com/leveling to verify your and your horses' Rookie eligibility.

For competitors interested in qualifying through their state or province, AQHA affiliates will submit qualifying methods, which will be posted on www.aqha.com/novicechampionships. If an affiliate does not submit a qualifying method, AQHA members residing in that state or province must qualify through another affiliate or nationally qualify.

To verify if you are eligible to qualify for the AQHA Level 1 championship shows in a particular class, visit www.aqha.com/leveling. Level 1 is part of the AQHA leveling program, and changes made to Level 1 (formerly Novice) eligibility were made effective January 1, 2013. Visit www.aqha.com/leveling to verify if you are eligible for Level 1, and read on below to see if you comply with additional Level 1 championship rules.

To learn more about the Level 1 Championships, visit www.aqha.com/novicechampionships.

As a proud sponsor of the Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships, Nutrena delivers optimum nutrition, exceptional health and world-class performance for your animals. Whether you keep animals around for fun, competition or work, you can trust Nutrena to provide the right nutritional solutions.  

A proud sponsor of the SmartPak West AQHA Level 1 Championships, SmartPak is the official supplement feeding system and joint supplement supplier of AQHA. When you pack for the trail, show or race, make sure you include the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. AQHA members can save 5 percent on all purchases at SmartPak. Learn more about SmartPak’s products and how to save today!

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter, watch the AQHA Newscast and visit www.aqha.com/news.